COGAP Itinerary – Day 3 – Hancock, MD to Cumberland, MD

Paw Paw Tunnel

In the morning we return to the Western Maryland Rail Trail with almost another 10 miles of paved trail with a gradual increase in elevation. Once we leave the Rail Trail the towpath gets a little bumpy again.

By mid-day we should reach one of the biggest highlights of the C&O for me, the 3,118-foot Paw Paw Tunnel. We must walk through the tunnel and a flashlight is required. However, I would highly recommend doing a portion of the tunnel with the light turned off (officially not allowed). We will ride into the Town of Paw Paw, WV to eat for lunch.

By the end of the day we will reach Cumberland, MD and have complete the 184.5 mile C&O canal towpath. There will be a photo opportunity to take pictures with the towpath statue and enjoy the canal museum. There is a bike shop here, if repairs are needed. The bike shop will also provide a complementary hosing down of your bike and you (if needed). Cumberland offers several good restaurants and I generally treat myself to a rib dinner getting ready for the twenty mile climb the next day. If you like trains, I would recommend staying at the Holiday Inn. However, bring your ear plugs if you are a light sleeper. The motel is located next to the railroad and trains pass by all night.

C&O Canal Statue

Ken Whittaker